Anyone who has been close to someone who is deployed understands the great sacrifice the entire family and loved ones are making along with their soldier. I can confidently say that I am not going to take time for granted the way I have with people in the past. I think everyone knows someone who is either deployed or close to a soldier, so I wanted to write something about the way it feels to have a significant other serving overseas.
Here are the symptoms that come along with a deployment:
Anxiousness: Getting a phone call from a random number doesn’t mean the same thing it did before your soldier went overseas. You hope it’s him calling from one of the phones in the barracks, but there’s always a fear in the back of your mind that it’s a stranger calling with bad news.
Irregular Heartbeat: Anytime you hear of something terrible that happened to soldiers in the area of the world where yours is your heart stops and sinks. When you find out it wasn’t him you feel an immediate sense of relief, followed by an intense sorrow for the loved ones who do have to deal with a sickening loss. You hurt for them. Then you pray for them. This thing that had a small impact on you has changed the lives of so many other people forever; losing a loved one too soon is a terrible tragedy that seems to be one thing that the heart can’t fully heal from.
Nausea: When you think about the conditions your soldier is working in, it makes you feel sick. The hatred toward Americans where he is serving is unreal, and you feel anxious knowing there’s a target on the one person you’d do anything to protects back. I don’t know that I would take a bullet for many people, but I would for him.
Sleeplessness: More nights than not you lie awake thinking about the person who is holding your heart halfway around the world. You worry and pray that God will keep them safe. Nighttime is the hardest part of a deployment. It seems so much longer than the bright daytime where you have dozens of distractions. The darkness is deeper than you remembered it being last year, and you feel alone in your big, cold queen size bed.
A New Sense of Patriotism: Your guy is fighting for our freedom. I have not proclaimed my love for this beautiful country nearly as much as I have this past year. The sacrifices thousands of people are making for me and my fellow US citizens are incredible. Soldiers endure terrifying, uncomfortable, and difficult conditions every single day for 9+ months to make sure we can keep the freedoms we have here in the United States.
Don’t you dare say that you hate this country if you live here; you have no right when there are people who are actually dying for it and for the freedoms we take for granted every single day. If you don’t love America there is no reason you need to stay here.
If you told me I could have one wish granted today it would be that I would have my soldier home and in my arms again. I wouldn’t trade that for all the riches in the world. Having that sense security in my relationship again is going to mean the world to me, and I absolutely can’t wait.
Sometimes I feel like I’m pulling a “Schmoopie” when I write about my dating life
Sadly I have realized not everyone in my generation has seen Seinfeld, so here’s a clip if you have no clue what I’m talking about:
It definitely takes a lot for me to share such intimate parts of my life on this blog sometimes. I know I’m taking a risk at putting my heart on my sleeve in front of all my friends (including my new blogger friends!), and I know not all of my relationships — romantic or otherwise — that I write about will last. I do, however, always want my blog to be an honest account of my life. I want to be transparent with y’all through the bad times and through the good, which just happens to be the beginning honeymoon phase of a new relationship, the comfortable parts of a longer-term relationship, and the vulnerable parts about putting your heart in the hands of another human being.
I love love in every form, whether it’s in a friendship or a romantic relationship. As I have mentioned before, I think I’m one of the few people who gets giddy with excitement when I see even a distant Facebook friend get engaged or have a sappy status. I love seeing new jobs, dreams come true, and celebrating in the victories of friends — no matter how great or small.
Sometimes it gets a little annoying when people proclaim their love to one another constantly on Facebook — can you not say “I love you” via text? For the most part, though, I hope my friends will keep posting a million wedding pictures and sharing in their excitement with me and everyone else. After all, that is by far the best part about social media, and the more love we put out in the world the less room we have for hate. That is the best lesson we can learn, especially during this crazy time in America where the country — and even Facebook — feels so divided and confused.
So I would like to encourage you to keep sharing photos of your GNOs, engagement photoshoots, and selfies that make you feel fierce. If people don’t like seeing the happy parts of your life, the “unfollow” button is really easy to find. Spread happiness, joy, and beautiful friendships on social media, even if they don’t rack up as many “likes” as you’d want… After all, your social media pages are yours for a reason!
Today’s lesson: I have found that being open and vulnerable has enriched my life in so many ways. Not only do I have so many friends to share excitement with, but I also have an army of support when life gets tough, and have been able to learn from people who have very different lives than my own. So here’s to being authentic and spreading love and positivity in the world.
I bet y’all never saw that one coming. I know, I know — it doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with dating, but let me elaborate.
Time and time again people get a new significant other and go into the vicious cycle of getting starry eyes that are only for their SO, set into reality, realize they do, in fact, need friends, and trying in a half ditch effort to have fun with other girls again.
There are a few solid reasons I strongly believe in staying close in your friendships, rather than dropping them only to pick up again when it becomes convenient.
First, trust is a key component in any relationship, even with friends. By remaining close when you get a new boyfriend you are showing her that you’ll be there for her through thick and thin — and in turn, she’ll be there for you when you need someone as well!
Second, if you think about it realistically I hate to burst your bubble, but many relationships in your teens or early twenties don’t work out for the long run. I know, I know, there are plenty of high school sweethearts. When you look at the numbers, though, more people go through breakups than marry their first love, so the odds are not ever in your favor. They could be with a friend, though! There isn’t a limit to the number of friends you are allowed to have, even if there is a cap at “1” for a boyfriend. Don’t throw away something beautiful like a forever friend for a boyfriend who may or may not be there for you in the long run.
Third, girl time is sacred! There are certain things you just can’t have as much fun doing with your boyfriend… Some of those include shopping for the perfect cocktail dress, getting mani pedis, helping your girl swipe through her Bumble account, and gushing about how cute your boyfriend is. Let’s be real, we love our guys, but they can only take so many compliments before getting a big head about it! 😛
I can think of a hundred reasons I need my girl friends no matter what season of life I am in. The friendships I have mean the world to me, and I would never give up any of them just to get a guy. An added bonus to this is that your guy will love that you are independent and have your own things going on. It’s so healthy to stay balanced and have some activities separate from your man… After all, your crazy adventures apart will make for some great date conversations.
Today’s lesson: When my ex of 5 years and I broke up I was SO relieved that I hadn’t given up my friends for a romantic relationship. From day one of us dating I made the decision to have a great relationship in addition to the other relationships in my life, rather than in place of my friendships. Although many of my friends thought my ex and I were going to last, we didn’t — but my friendships did, and I was so thankful for every single girl who helped me get through my first bad breakup. It would have been so much harder being by myself and having to rebuild my relationships again… Plus in those 5 years I was still able to cherish so many great memories with friends that my ex was not involved in! Instead of only remembering him when I look back on my college years I have a million other wonderful memories too — many of which are shared with some of my current best friends.
I reached out to my good friend Will to do a blog post for me since he’s someone who is super-confident in the dating world, and though his advice always has a little dose of silliness, it’s usually spot-on.
Without further ado, here are his tips on how to carry a great conversation on a date:
Wing It: Some guys like to meticulously plan out every question and topic they want to bring up. Please learn how to have a fluid conversation without doing this. Women do not want a robot, they want a human being. Plus, it will save some awkwardness from pulling out the list of topics you have in your back pocket when you get stuck.
Be Nice, But Not “Fake Nice”: Being respectful is always important, but do not be so nice to the point that it doesn’t seem genuine. When someone tries too hard, it’s obvious they only have one goal in mind, and women aren’t stupid… Krista’s readers are intelligent, so you fellas are looking for someone with brains too (Not in a zombie sort of way, even with Halloween coming up and all).
Utilize Your Intelligence: This article is discussing what to do when dating quality women, so onward to the next tip — intelligent conversation. Women love to talk, so when they’re talking about themselves ask questions that you’re naturally curious about. For example, if she’s not from around here, ask her about her hometown and how different the culture is there.
Bond Over Hobbies: The best way to keep a conversation going is to talk about hobbies. On the first date, ask her what she likes to do and if you have some things in common, talk about that. Easy money! A good partner is someone you can do fun things with, so finding her interests early is awesome. For example, I’m a huge fan of basketball, so it would be advantageous to me to meet a lady who also knows that ball is life, since women that don’t know will never completely understand.
Have A Sense of Humor: This is my bread and butter, my meal ticket. Women love a guy who has humor and wit. As a matter of fact, if you make a girl laugh frequently and you do not screw up too bad, you’ll most likely have a second date. I’ll bet $100 on it. Just don’t be too crude (my Achilles heel sometimes). If you want more detail on how I include humor on a date, pick up my new book Making Her Fall Head Over Heels… With Laughter. The book signing is actually next Thursday.
Be Confident, Not Cocky: Confidence is knowing you have the ability to do something without having to brag about it. Whenever someone says they are really good at something, I automatically question their claim. For example, if I titled this article “Reasons Will is the Most Charming Person on the Planet,” you, as the reader, will nitpick anything that can be interpreted otherwise just to disprove my point. Your date will do the same thing. I better take my own advice; my dates won’t know about my book.
Today’s lesson (Courtesy of Will): To sum it all up, just be authentic and have fun. Keep trying; a failed date is never a bad thing and honestly will likely happen more often than a successful one. Just learn from your mistakes (and victories!) and you will be a force to be reckoned with. Relax, bro!
Today is the 1 year “anniversary” of my first date with Robert. Going into it I had absolutely no expectations, as I wasn’t looking for a relationship and just wanted to date around. Despite shaking him off and realizing how unrealistic it would be to date someone who was leaving for a deployment in just a few months, he somehow worked his way into my heart and stayed. I wanted to do something special on my blog for the one year, and seeing Robert already wrote some about our first date, I decided to answer some questions about him.
Last week I interviewed Robert about what it was like dating me, so I figured it was only fair that I would answer the same questions about him! His friends and family might learn a thing or two about him, and now my lovely readers can get a further peek into this ‘ship.
This is the first time I have ever interviewed myself, so you’ll have to let me know how I did. 😉
Single In The Suburbs:
Tell us, what is it really like dating Robert?
Krista: It’s been a lot of fun! He’s way goofy, which I absolutely love, but he also has a really sweet and caring side of him. Dating was a little intimidating at first because I worried about how people would react to the fact I am unintentionally incredibly high maintenance, as I have an autonomic nervous system disorder that requires a lot of care. I knew it would take a special person to be with me, but I also know my worth and that anyone right for me would be able to see that I have a good heart… I just didn’t realize I would snag a person as special as Robert. He has been attentive and loving in the ways I need, and might just know my love language even better than I do.
SITS: In a sentence, what is thebest thing about dating him?
Krista: I’m not going to cheat like Robert did, but the best thing about dating him is that I’ve been able to learn that what I want in a guy isn’t at all unrealistic, and that selfless love is something that can be worked into a relationship.
In a sentence, what is the worst thing about dating him? (Be honest!)
Krista: Hmm, he’s a bit embarrassing to take out in public sometimes; he tends to spill stuff all over himself and sit on my Junior Mints in his truck (See photos below for proof).
Bonus sentence: This really sucks because I love Junior Mints, and he wasted about half a box on decorating his jeans.
SITS: Have you noticed any interesting or annoying habits he has?
Krista: He often sings Taylor Swift in a really silly voice, which is interesting and only annoying if I’m really into jamming at the moment. You can go crazy with Blank Space, Robert, but Wildest Dreams is sacred. Let’s keep it that way.
How do you feel about Single In The Suburbs?
Krista: I obviously love it! I’ve really enjoyed making a very small impact in the lives of others from writing this blog. I hope to keep growing my readership and sharing my experiences with y’all!
On a related note, how do you feel being written about so often? You are clearly “Boston” and “Army.” writing about the same guy so often?
Krista: Writing is my favorite way to share my emotions. When I’m in love with someone I absolutely love writing about them and expressing the way I feel on paper — or a computer screen if you want to be all modern and cool! You guys only see the drafts I feel are somewhat worth sharing. I am like Brad Paisley, as in, if I love someone I can go on and on and on. My blog posts only scrape the surface of my love life, but I do try to share the biggest ups and downs on here, as I think they do make for the most relatable content.
Tell us one of his deepest, darkest secrets.
Krista: One thing I like about Robert is that he’s kind of an open book. When we first started dating I thought he was trying to impress me by liking a lot of the same things I did, but after getting to know him better I realized we just have a lot in common. I can think of a few secrets to share, but since I’m interviewing myself and he didn’t ask me this question, so I’m going to respect his privacy and plead the fifth.
What is the most embarrassed you’ve been on a date with Robert?
Krista: I can’t really think of anything in particular. Sometimes he is a little goofy and will pronounce things really incorrectly when ordering at a restaurant. For example, on our Valentine’s Day date we went to a really fancy French restaurant and neither of us knew how to pronounce anything on the menu. He happened to choose a really weird appetizer, and ordered it in his best “French accent,” which actually sounded more like a mix of an Italian and Bostonian — very fitting as he is both of those. The waitress didn’t understand and gave him a weird look, but I always think he’s funny when he’s trying to be embarrassing, so I don’t mind.
SITS: How did you feel going into the first date? What about after it?
Krista: Okay, so Robert gave us the lowdown on how we almost didn’t meet up after he canceled our first date… Since this happened and he clearly really wanted to go on a date with me still, (After all, he did message me a few times after we didn’t meet up — I just felt bad that he had blown it with me at that point!) I figured I didn’t have anything to lose going out with him.
We talked on the phone before we met, and I actually was kind of excited after our conversation. He was funny, charming, and a good conversationalist… My kind of triple threat!
When we met up a few days later I was pleasantly surprised how easy the date felt. We had a lot in common, and I instantly loved his sense of humor. Leaving the date I wasn’t really sure whether or not we’d see one another again, as he was leaving to go to training in Staunton (3+ hours away) soon, and would eventually be deployed, but he texted me later that night about what a nice time he had, and we haven’t stopped talking since.
What is your favorite memory together?
Krista: Oh gosh, I have so many… I loved the date I took Robert on to get hibachi for his “birthday,” I loved every date we ever went on that involved playing Super Smash Bros and ordering takeout, I loved going to coffee or to “watch the Patriots play” at the bar (Which involved mainly just us chatting away and ordering lots of good desserts), I loved being able to be a part of his deployment ceremony in Richmond, and I loved seeing him for 2 extra days before he left to go overseas. I really can’t choose just one; I just love spending time together.
SITS: Tell us the most interesting “Robert story” you have heard since meeting him.
Krista: This is kind of a weird one, but I really liked hearing about his time in ROTC. Robert has a million great stories, but I particularly like hearing about when he had to camp out for several days and found a berry bush in the woods near our alma matter. He says that they all took turns sleeping for short periods of time, and that when it was his turn to keep watch he would pick and eat handfuls of these berries. He didn’t know whether or not they were safe to eat, which in hindsight knowing the outcome (they were not poisonous and he is fine) this is hilarious, but it does make me worry about his judgment sometimes…
Would you change anything about Robert? If so, what?
Today was one of the particularly hard days. Deployments aren’t fun for anyone, but I’ve really gained a new perspective to what people go through when their significant other goes away overseas.
I try to keep my composure as I drive to my favorite coffee shop to sit down and write. I flip through the radio stations until one sits well with me. The song finishes as I keep my eyes glued to the road; it’s the only thing I can do to not completely break down.
Taylor Swift’s “Ours” comes on and it’s words have a new meaning now than when it first came out. I want to change it, but my hands don’t seem to be cooperating with my brain. I notice the car in front of me has a tiny “Army Strong” sticker at the bottom left of the bumper. My eyes feel full.
When a Ford F-150 glides to a stop at the light next to me, I pull over, gripping the steering wheel with all the strength I have. I rest my head on it, and the tears feel like rain spilling into my lap.
I wonder why the world has to be so screwed up that innocent people need to try and fix all of the problems. I feel like the most selfish person in the world because my soldier has it a lot harder than I do and because I just want him home and suddenly don’t care about the rest of the world. My heart misses him, and I feel like I don’t remember what it’s like to have a hand to hold. This long distance has been the easiest I’ve done, in the sense that I don’t ever question where we stand with each other, but it’s also one of the most painful things in the world watching someone you love go somewhere you can’t keep him safe. Not knowing that everything will be okay is far worse than just missing him.
I sniffle, alone in my car, and realize I have to keep it together for myself and my significant other. I wipe my eyes and smudge the mascara further across my cheek. I shift the gear into “drive,” and muster up the courage to go into the warm, bright cafe after fixing my makeup again.
I force myself to smile when I finally order my coffee.
I’m tired of being strong; I never had the years of training that make someone “Army Strong,” and don’t feel like I fit in. Love is sometimes simple, but other times it’s feeling everything all at once.